Thursday, October 27, 2011

Su Halfwerk talks about Writing in Multiple Genres

Today, my guest is multi-published author, Su Halfwerk.  Su talks about her transition from writing strictly horror novels to paranormal romance.

Writing in Multiple Genres

I used to be a purist.
My type of purism involved reading, writing, and watching only horror related materials. A movie wasn't as exciting without the occasional disaster, even the hero's death was okay. A book was boring because it didn't have a ghost, a demon, or a vampire that ruined everyone's life. I couldn't sit and write a book without getting the urge to kill and harm my main characters. The ending could go either way with odds leaning towards the "miserable ever after" type.
While researching for a book, I noticed a title that drew my attention; it was a romance novel. I bought it. When I read that book, I discovered a whole range of emotions beside fear, sadness, and darkness that left my head spinning. Mind you, not all horror is doom and devastation, but it the type I favored at the time.
To make a long story short, after experimenting with different sub genres in romance, I now read and write in the paranormal romance genre. You might ask why specifically paranormal romance. Well, because I discovered in me a love for the hybrid of romance and horror; most of the good guys in paranormal romance are abominations in horror. I think the best way to showcase how I see the link between these two is by inviting you to read a short…post? Story? (I don't know how to refer to it) on my blog. I wrote it some time ago:
Writing multiple genres can get knotty at times. I have to consider the emotions, points of view, and style of writing. Genres leak into each other, lending a hand to make a story more interesting, but it can also muddy the waters if not handled carefully. The last thing we aim for is to confuse our readers.
For authors, writing is a passion, almost an addiction we can't and won't resist. When a story calls, we answer. I know of authors who write in more than two genres.
How do they do that you might ask?
To be able to handle more than one genre, one needs to study each, know its rules, limitations, and market. I can't write science-fiction because I didn't read enough SF, and I won't consider penning a historical romance because I'm not familiar with the appropriate outfits, terminology, and correct era references.
By studying each genre—through reading other books in that genre and researching related topics—we can accomplish this. I can't promote research enough; more than once, it made me to expand my horizon. Besides giving me the right and necessary information to make my stories believable, it also inspired ideas, and opened previously-assumed-locked doors.
Read, research, ask questions, and stretch your imagination. The only valid limitation, in my opinion, is the lack of enough knowledge about a topic.
My latest release, Seeker, is a sweet paranormal romance that has a bit of darkness in it, it's also book 1 in the Unsettled series. I'm currently working on book 2 in the series but a horror story keeps nagging at me to write it. You see, my muse sends one of each genre at a time, and all I can do is oblige.

By Su Halfwerk
Genre: sweet paranormal romance

The only obstacle in his quest is his heart.
Andrew Taylor has it all. A flourishing acting career, a stunner of a model as a girlfriend, and a countenance that swoons women right into his arms. 
Except, this is not the only life he’s living. He is also a Spirit Hunter tormented by the murder of his wife and daughter and destined to hunt rogue spirits, seeking the one who destroyed his family. Even if that means repressing his needs.
Adoria Hall’s life is turned upside down after an unfair layoff from her job.
Financial pressures force her to accept babysitting a spoiled actor like Andrew. Or so she thinks, until she discovers a lonely heart beating beneath his glamorous fa├žade. Protecting Andrew’s life from harm is her duty, safeguarding her heart is her compulsion.
When the spirits drive the war to Andrew’s turf, he must confront his key enemy to settle the score. Yet, if forced to pick, will Andrew choose to exorcise the one he seeks or will he opt to protect the one he adores?

With the intention of ignoring Helen, Andrew continued toward the door, but he was wrenched backwards. Looking over his shoulder, he saw that Helen had grabbed Adoria’s upper arm and turned her around, pulling him backwards as well in the process. Adoria snapped something at her, and Helen raised her hand as if to slap her. With one hand, Adoria seized Helen’s elbow and pushed the producer to carry on with the momentum of her body, except, Adoria pulled backward and continued steering Helen’s arm until her hand connected with her own face in a loud slap.

The sound echoed in the hushed dining room, everyone stared at the two women, Adoria glaring at Helen, and the other woman holding her cheek, eyes brimming with tears of humiliation and anger.

“Now, this gives a new meaning to bitch slapping,” Andrew mumbled and snickered. He hadn’t meant to say it aloud, he could still think clearly, he believed, but his actions went haywire. A few giggles sounded around them, as he, Adoria, and Steve walked away from a raging executive producer.

They stepped out into the night, the smog, for the first time, invigorated him, reducing his sickness and confusion. The downside to this change was that his senses were centered in his lower region. Adoria’s hips nudging his as they walked didn’t help matters any. 

They reached the SUV, and Steve left his side to unlock the door, Andrew thought. He couldn’t take his closeness to Adoria anymore. He intended to move away from her, but instead he pushed her against the car, placed both hands on her waist and leaned into her, grinding that ache against her warm body.


Desire, so long forgotten, hummed through him. Her breathing caught when he delicately touched her cheekbones and lips with his hand, his lips trailing his fingers’ path. They tasted her, teased her. He was driving himself insane, just as he did to her, for her body reacted to his touch, her breasts pushed against his chest in an inviting challenge.

Andrew, stop! You will ruin everything, Gruesome shouted in his head, but he ignored his Guide.

Author info: 
Su Halfwerk writes in the horror and paranormal romance genres. From a tender age, the written word left a strong impression on her, later on terrifying, blood-chilling books became the object of her interest. Su’s style in horror combines shuddery terror with elements of surprise; some would even call it an enigmatic twist. In the world of paranormal romance, she transforms the desire to scare into a quest to seduce and tantalize.
Other books [SH1] by Su Halfwerk:
Untamed Temptation (Paranormal Romance)
His to Possess (Finalist in 2011 EPIC Awards in the Paranormal Romance category)
Zuphreen (Horror/Urban Fantasy)
Intricate Entanglement (Horror/Thriller)
The books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online outlets
When not writing, Su is designing book trailers for herself and other authors.
You can find Su online in any of these places:


  1. Penny,
    Thanks for the opportunity to visit your blog again.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. Paranormal is my guilty pleasure.

  3. Janice,
    I have many guilty pleasures, and paranormal romance is up there, close to the top :-)
    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words